Sony Announcements Ramp Up Ahead of Show
Acceleration comes as Tokyo Game Show approaches
Published: Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 16:09
As Japanese game companies often do, Sony will be attending the Tokyo Game Show this month to show off its latest hardware to the land of the rising sun.
Before that begins, however, the company dropped their annual pre-TGS press event to make announcements in the comfort of their own timeslot, so as not to be lost in the noise of Metal Gear announcements, and Capcom refusing to comment on a new Mega Man game.
One such announcement was that of the latest Sony console (not the PlayStation 4). The Vita TV will be Sony’s foray into the realm of streaming boxes, like the Apple TV, Roku and Ouya.
The device has only been confirmed for Japan as of yet, but when it does drop it will play non-touch enabled PlayStation Vita games, as well as downloadable PSP and PlayStation One games. It will retail for $99 (just like the Ouya and Apple TV).
The games will be playable on a TV with the aid of a PlayStation controller, just in case your portable gaming device was a little too portable. It will also run all the major streaming services, such as Netflix.
This seems like a clear attempt on the Japanese company’s part to make a play for the set-top box market, while letting Vita games into homes through the back door.
For those interested in the portable version of Sony’s portable system, the PlayStation Vita itself will be getting a redesign.
The “new” system is dubbed the “PlayStation Vita 2000” (following in the footsteps of the PlayStation Portable 2000, and 3000) and sports a 20 percent thinner, 15 percent lighter design.
It will also be available in a wide range of colors, unlike the current Vita (which is available in black, with a limited edition white Vita bundle having dropped last year). Personally, I want a pink one.
The most surprising news to come out of Sony’s event was the Japanese release date of the PlayStation 4—Feb. 22, 2014. That’s a full three months after the North American and European release dates for the home country of the console.
It probably makes sense. Microsoft’s presence in the Pacific is laughable; the Xbox 360 sold so poorly that Japan stopped selling new ones off the shelf years ago. Meanwhile, Nintendo’s presence with the Wii U struggles each and every day, no matter what the region.
Finally, we got some news about some games. Said list includes Phantasy Star Nova, Soul Sacrifice Delta are headed to the PlayStation Vita.
Delta will be a remake/re-release/we really don’t know what of Keiji Inafune’s Soul Sacrifice. Meanwhile, Phantasy Star Nova will be a Vita version of Phantasy Star Online 2. The game is playable online or off, and works with the PC version.
Sega remains recumbent on a North American release date for either version of the game, but reports confirm Dreamcast fans haven’t given up hope yet.
Finally, Yakuza Restoration will be the, uh, sixth or seventh console entry in Sega’s standout action series. Honestly, I stopped keeping count after Yakuza: Dead Souls - a game which featured the yakuza fighting off hordes of the undead, and Resident Evil-style mutations.
Sadly, there is still no word on Final Fantasy 15. Happily, Final Fantasy 14’s PlayStation 4 version has a beta launch date - the same day as the systems’ launch, Feb. 22.
On top of that Final Fantasy X and X-2’s HD remakes will launch for the Vita alongside a special edition version of the handheld, featuring all the game-specific branding you’d expect from a tie-in bundle.
Hopefully, some of these announced products actually make it over here to America at some point. If history is any indicator, we’ll definitely see the new Vita design. That Vita TV would certainly be nice for a lot of people, but it reeks of the kind of thing Sony keeps to its home country.
I will continue to hold my breath waiting for Phantasy Star Online 2 to make it over here.